The Astros need pitching help, and they need it fast
Houston’s slow start, when paired with some struggles to many of their prominent offensive players, has been overdramatized to an exhausting degree. The Astros sit firmly in the second-place spot in the AL West, which this season is enough to make the American League postseason. Sure, it’s a step back from Houston’s dominance of old, but coming off a disastrous offseason and playing through continuous distraction, Dusty Baker’s group has waded these waters quite well.
With Justin Verlander out for the season and Roberto Osuna’s future uncertain, the Astros are doing their due diligence at the deadline. The Arizona Diamondbacks could be a potential suitor.
The Diamondbacks have gone 1-10 in their last 11 games, and are clear sellers at the deadline
Both Robbie Ray and Archie Bradley are up for grabs. Ray’s been available for the last year-plus, and Arizona is unlikely to reach their once-lofty expectations for a return on the lefty. His 7.84 ERA is putrid, but Houston’s turned around talented pitchers in the past thanks to their excellent development staff.
Bradley, meanwhile, is the more expensive and more likely option here. The Astros’ bullpen needs dramatic improvement, and a reliable closer in the back end. In the closer role, Bradley has a 3.60 ERA and 10.8 K/9. Those numbers shouldn’t be scoffed at. He’s also signed through 2021, even though he has one more year of arbitration where he should get a substantial raise.
If Houston is serious about backing up not just their 2017 World Series, but their 2019 AL Pennant, then adding pitching needs to be a priority.